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Visible light image of the Crab Nebula

Visible light image of the Crab Nebula

R760/0051

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Credit

JEFF HESTER AND PAUL SCOWEN, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEFF HESTER AND PAUL SCOWEN, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Crab Nebula. Visible light image of the Crab Nebula. North is toward upper left. The colours in this image have been enhanced to emphasise the structure of the nebula. The green, yellow and red filaments are gaseous relics of the material blown away from a star in a supernova explosion, which was witnessed by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD. The blue glow in the inner part of the nebula results from energetic electrons spiralling through the complex magnetic field surrounding the stellar remnant, a pulsar. The nebula is 10 light years across, and is located some 7000 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

Release details

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